Robert Bergquist, MD, PhD
World Health Organization/World Bank/UNDP/UNICEF Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (retired), and Editor-in-Chief, Geospatial Health, Brastad, Sweden
Dr. Robert Bergquist received both his medical degree (MD) and PhD in Immunological Diagnostic Techniques from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and is a Certified Clinical Immunologist. He has served as Medical Officer in the Royal Navy of Sweden, Chairman of the Department of Immunology at the Karolinska Institute, Director of the Armauer Hansen Research Institute in Ethiopia, Chairman of the Schistosomiasis Vaccine Development Programme in Egypt, and Vice-Chairman of the World Bank’s Joint Research Management Committee for China. From 1985-1999 Dr. Bergquist served as a Medical Offer in the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), based at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Bergquist has authored/co-authored over 250 scientific communications and textbook chapters, is a regular reviewer of several prestigious scientific journals and currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Geospatial Health that focuses on all aspects of the application of geographical information systems, remote sensing, global positioning systems, spatial statistics and other geospatial tools in human and veterinary health. He maintains an affiliation to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and has served for nearly two decades as an international advisor to the Regional Network for Asian Schistosomiasis and other Helminth Zoonoses (RNAS+).
Modesto Cruz, MD, PhD
Director, Research Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology (IMPA), Professor, Faculty of Sciences, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), Dominican Republic
Dr. Modesto Cruz received his medical degree from the Santiago University of Technology (UTESA) School of Medicine in the Dominican Republic. He completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University Hospital of Osaka, Japan, where he was awarded a PhD in Medical Sciences with a focus on radiology. He was appointed Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology at the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Osaka, Japan. In 2004, he returned to the Dominican Republic where he has served in many leading research positions in numerous university hospitals throughout the Dominican Republic. He currently serves as the Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology at the Faculty of Sciences of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo where he is also a Professor of Diagnostic Imaging. He is the principal investigator for the Dominican Republic and Panama Arbovirus (Dengue and Chikungunya) Molecular Epidemiology project, which focuses on the genetic resistance of vector mosquitos to insecticides. In addition, he was the lead investigator of the national project on the prevalence and molecular characterization of Helicobacter in the Dominican Republic population. Dr. Cruz has an outstanding record of published peer review articles and serves as an active member of many international professional and scientific societies. From 2013-2015 he served as President of the Central American and Caribbean Association for Parasitology and Tropical Medicine (ACACPMT).
Ray Kaplan, DVM, PhD, DipEVPC, DipACVM
Professor of Parasitology, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, Georgia, USA
Dr. Ray Kaplan has over 20 years of research experience in veterinary parasitology. He is a Diplomate of the European Veterinary Parasitology College and the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. His research interests includes epidemiology and control of gastrointestinal parasite, development and optimization of diagnostic assays for detecting resistance to anthelmintic in nematode parasites; biology, epidemiology and treatment of heartworm in dogs with a focus on development and spread of anthelmintic resistance. His laboratory at the Department of Infectious Disease, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine conducts research on measuring, understanding and solving problems presented by drug-resistance in nematode parasites.
Hazel Laws, MBBS, MPH
Chief Medical Officer, Federation of St Kitts & Nevis, Basseterre, St Kitts, West Indies
Dr. Hazel Laws was born in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and was appointed Chief Medical Officer of St. Kitts in September 2016. She completed her medical and public health degrees at the University of West Indies (UWI)-Mona Campus in Jamaica where she continued as a Lecturer and Coordinator of the Undergraduate Community Health Program in the Department of Community Health & Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences until her return to St Kitts in 2016. While in Jamaica she was also a private medical practitioner and served as Senior Medical Officer at the UWI-Mona Campus Community Health Center, having participated in numerous chronic disease and disease control committees with the Ministry of Health of the Government of Jamaica and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). Dr. Laws has several public health publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been awarded numerous academic recognitions for her leadership role in teaching and research. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Public Health from UWI.
Christopher Oura, BVetMed, MSc, PhD, MRCVS
Professor of Veterinary Virology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Dr. Chris Oura received a Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences from the Royal Veterinary College of the University of London. Soon after he completed a Masters in Tropical Veterinary Sciences from the Center for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh University, UK and a PhD in Immunology from the Institute of Animal Health-Pirbright Laboratory in Surrey, UK. He is a Professor of Veterinary Virology in the Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences at the University of West Indies where he leads a One Health based research program concentrating on zoonotic and animal pathogens of importance within the Caribbean Region. His areas of research expertise are veterinary virology and infectious diseases, molecular diagnostics, virus discovery and evolution, molecular parasitology, vector-borne viral diseases, population genetics and molecular epidemiology and One Health. Dr. Oura is the leading investigator on a number projects from different funding agencies such as the UWI-Trinidad and Tobago Research and Development Impact Fund, the UWI Research and Publications fund, the European Commission and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture among others. Dr. Oura has an outstanding record of published peer review articles and serves as an active member of many international professional and scientific societies.
Ana Sanchez, MSc, PhD
Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Ana Sanchez, a native of Honduras, is a microbiologist serving as Professor of Parasitology and Global Health at Brock University, Canada, where she teaches medical microbiology, tropical parasites of humans and animals, and global issues in infectious diseases. Dr. Sanchez obtained her MSc and PhD in infection biology and medical microbiology, respectively, from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
She is a member of the Pan American Organization (PAHO)’s Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas. She is also a member of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research and the Parasitology Research Group of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras.
Dr. Sanchez’s work focuses on tropical parasitic and other infectious diseases which continue to impose an excessive burden to the health and well-being people globally, in particular low- and middle-income countries where the synergies created by co-existing biological, environmental and socio-economic factors provide the perfect ground for these diseases to thrive.
Additionally, Dr. Sanchez is interested in tackling high-level issues around research capacity building and increasing research proficiencies in developing countries, particularly in Honduras.
A main focus of her work has been conducting primary field and laboratory research on neglected parasitic diseases such as soil-transmitted helminths and tapeworm parasites of humans and pigs. As a result of her involvement in these lines of work, Dr. Sanchez often lends her expertise to national and international organizations assisting in the prioritization of research and development of research systems.